Stock picking

Senators vs Santa’s Reindeer

29.December 2020

During the festive season, everything is more relaxed, and this week´s blog is no exception. The stock-picking abilities of animals are not the main research topic for most academics, yet the stock-picking skills, for example, of monkeys, were previously documented. To our best knowledge, the paper of Belmont et al. (2020) is the first that examines the stock-picking abilities of reindeer. Moreover, the performance of reindeer is compared to the US senators during 2020. Trading of US senators or congresspeople is particularly interesting since there are concerns about informed stock trading. Especially during the COVID pandemic, where the governments have a significant influence on the economies. The finding of the paper is that the performance of the senate is behind reindeer. However, the reindeer exhibit herding behavior and momentum preferences. Perhaps, their abilities should be examined more deeply during a more extended period.

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Large Cap Analysis

23.December 2020

Every week, through these posts, we point to interesting academic research papers. This week´s blog is slightly different, yet no less engaging. This blog includes numerous interesting charts from more than hundred charts in the CUSTOM REPORT: U.S. LARGE INDEX by the PHILOSOPHICAL ECONOMICS using OSAM Research Database. The report consists of the visually presented analysis of the U.S. Large index. The analysis includes the composition, returns, individual stocks, sector and factor allocations, and six fundamentals. The report contains comprehensive information about the large caps in the U.S. market from 1963 to 2020 and is worthy of a look.

We wish you all Merry Christmas …

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The Active vs Passive: Smart Factors, Market Portfolio or Both?

11.December 2020

While there may be debates about passive and active investing, and even blogs about the numbers of active funds that were outperformed by the market, the history taught us that the outperformance of active or passive investing is cyclical. As a proxy for the active investing, the new Quantpedia’s research paper examines factor strategies and their smart allocation using fast or slow time-series momentum signals, the relative weights based on the strength of the signals and even blending the signals. While the performance can be significantly improved, using those smart approaches, the factors still got beaten by the market in both US and EAFE sample. However, the passive approach did not show to be superior. The factor strategies and market are significantly negatively correlated and impressively complement each other. The combined Smart Factors and market portfolio vastly outperforms both factors and market throughout the sample in both markets. With the combined approach, the ever-present market falls can be at least mitigated or profitable thanks to the factors.

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Stock Price Overreaction to ESG Controversies

23.November 2020

Nobody can doubt that in the recent period, ESG investing has significantly grown and is a staple part of the financial markets. The academic literature has also grown with the popularity of ESG investing. The negative, mixed and positive results for ESG scores in portfolios have evolved, and generally, there is a consent that ESG scoring can be a vital part of the portfolio management process. It can be observed that in the past, the ESG scores were not priced in the equity market and still, the ESG is not priced in the corporate bond market (apart from Europe). Nowadays, the investors react to the ESG scores, but the research paper of Cui and Docherty (2020) has novel insights that investors may react too much to the ESG. Their research shows that investors overreact to the negative ESG events and stocks connected with negative ESG events sharply fall, but the prices have mean-reverting properties. As a result, there is a reversal after bad ESG events. Stocks firstly sharply fall, but then their prices are reverted to the previous values. Therefore, this paper is interesting from the market pricing or efficiency point, but it also can be utilized by a reversal investor.

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Can Analysts Predict Performance of the US and International Stocks?

12.November 2020

Analysts recommendations are quite puzzling topic among both practitioners and academics as well. The most important question related to the analysts is straightforward: what is the value of their recommendations? The research paper of Azvedo and Müller (2020) brings light on this topic, but also explores the relation of analysts recommendations and market anomalies. In line with other literature, it seems that the recommendations are significantly more valuable in international markets compared to the US market. While the prediction ability of analysts is not present in the US market, less developed markets and markets with higher limits-to-arbitrage are connected with valuable recommendations. Secondly, using around 200 cross-sectional anomalies, authors show that analysts are more lined up with anomaly-based composite mispricing measures in international markets. Therefore, there is not a bias from analysts to recommend overvalued stocks in global markets compared to the well-developed US market. We highlight several results and tables, but the paper is full of impressive results, ideas and tables. Therefore, we invite you to read this blog post as well as the source research paper.

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Resurrecting the Value Premium

8.October 2020

Nowadays, the value factor is a hot topic among practitioners and researchers as well. It is commonly known that equity factors have a cyclical performance, but many argue that value underperforms for too long. Therefore, many say that the classical HML value factor of Fama and French is dead. On the other hand, there is an emerging amount of research papers that study the value investing with an aim to make some alterations that would result in a profitable factor as the classic B/M ratio looks like it’s not a sensible value factor anymore. This branch of literature was recently enriched by novel research of Blitz and Hanauer (2020). By including more value metrics, altering the investment universe and applying basic risk management techniques, value strategy can become profitable in the long term. Although the modification is sensible, it stills suffer in a recent period. Only time will tell whether the novel resurrected value factors would emerge again as many times in the past…

Authors: David Blitz and Matthias X. Hanauer

Title: Resurrecting the Value Premium

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